Ghana could soon become the first country in the sub region and possibly across the world to introduce the most advanced addressing system. ‘AsaaseGPS’ (the Anglo-Akan trademark name) is a Ghanaian free online web digital addressing system. ‘Asaase’ a Ghanaian Twi word stands for Earth with GPS –Global Positioning System capping it.
Technology experts say it will help trace and pinpoint every Ghanaian irrespective of his/her location in the country. And like Google map, MapQuest or any other navigation search engine the app on AsaaseGPS does all the tricks: Just open the app and type the name of the landmark into the search tab and voila!
Ghana’s vice President Mahamudu Bawumia who made this known at University of Cape Coast (Cape Vas) in the central region said the NPP administration upon assumption into office from day one saw the need to use the existing technology to implement a digital addressing system. To this end, the governing party set a mission upon itself to venture into the project, noting t, ‘thankfully the task has been accomplished.’
And like a marketing manager selling a new product Dr. Bawumia employed humor and facts to whip up the excitement of his audience in Cape Coast—formerly the Gold Coast capital. Indeed the smile on his face and the body language said it all. He was the happiest man.
So how big is this deal?
“This is what we’re about to roll out. It’s more advanced than United States or United Kingdom or Sweden or Germany,” Dr. Bawumia said “Because they’d (referring to the west) started with old technology, we are leap-frogging…and we’re going to GPS-technology, so even if you‘re standing in the middle of River Oti and you want your address when we roll it out you will know your address in the middle of River Oti. “
Still wearing his smiles the vice president pointed out that Ghana’s digital address system has unique post codes for every location within Ghana. The system is going to provide (for me if I look at it and I am biased of course) us the most advanced addressing system in the world Period. It’s unbelievable we’ve been able to put together 16.1 billion addresses, every five by five metre square part of FGHANA has unique address.”
For the longest time, if you’re looking for somebody’s house the koko (porridge) seller on the left, blue kiosk on the right and the gutter before you get there. And then if the ‘koko’ seller doesn’t appear you’re in trouble,” he illustrated amid giggles.
Ghana’s huge there are so many villages and towns so we want to use the existing technology to implement a digital addressing system. So this is the task we set ouselves when we came into government. And that task has thankfully been accomplished.”
Why the Oti River allusion someone asked me?
I suppose it was off the cuff. I don’t think he used it deliberately. It’s however, worth noting that the Oti River isn’t the longest or biggest in Ghana. The biggest is the River Volta and the longest is the Tano River.
I also think that his allusion to the Oti River could possibly be per its proximity to the northern region (his native home) and not the depth, width and its length. But like he earlier indicated if he could be biased this project is unique and matchless at the global stage.
In that sense I will say even in Thames, even in Mississippi River and even in space one can locate his/her destination or house.
This would bring the West-African nation’s world record to two. It set her first world record in 1965 when the country built the Akosombo Dam also known as the Volta Dam —the biggest Man-made Lake in the world by surface area not by volume.
Yes it could be viewed as Ghana’s flagship project and arguably the most innovative in the world… According to Vice President Bawumia after analysing the factors behind the successes of other developed countries, it has become necessary for Ghana to take advantage of technology in order to speed up development.
Are there any foreseeable challenges?
Perhaps the only challenge that I foresee when the project is rolled out will have to do with access and the know-how. How does one access the app and generate the address of his location if s/he is technically inept?
The features look pretty cool. They are not complex-looking but there still have to be more education and sensitization programmes before, during and after the system is rolled out to ensure its full success.
But beyond that I think the giant has landed and she’s here to stay. AsaaseGPS will be going places and it will put Ghana in a pole position at the global stage in terms of digital addressing system.
Author: Gordon Offin-Amaniampong